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A Better Path Forward : How Corporate Culture Threatens the Quality of Higher Education and What We Can Do to Resist its Encroachment on our Campuses. Rudy Fichtenbaum Professor of Economics, Wright State University President, AAUP. Roadmap. Embracing the Corporate Model Consequences

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rudy fichtenbaum professor of economics wright state university president aaup
A Better Path Forward: How Corporate Culture Threatens the Quality of Higher Education and What We Can Do to Resist its Encroachment on our Campuses

Rudy Fichtenbaum

Professor of Economics, Wright State University

President, AAUP

roadmap
Roadmap
  • Embracing the Corporate Model
  • Consequences
  • How to Fight Back
you know you have the corporate model when
You know you have the corporate model when:
  • Administrators & politicians talk about faculty productivity.
  • Universities & colleges care more about bond ratings than the quality of education they offer students
  • Administrators make unilateral changes in curriculum and academic policies
you know you have the corporate model when1
You know you have the corporate model when:
  • When you have “merit” pay
  • Promotion and pay for faculty depend on student evaluations
  • When students are your customers
  • When the market is used to explain why faculty some disciplines earn significantly more than faculty in other disciplines.
you know you have the corporate model when2
You know you have the corporate model when:
  • The majority of faculty have no job security, few benefits and are largely excluded from the decision making process on campus.
  • When you administration tries to break your union.
  • When your budget system turns each of your colleges into profit centers so faculty will be more entrepreneurial.
  • When college presidents and politicians call for the creation of “enterprise universities” to complete the privatization of public higher education.
you know you have the corporate model when3
You know you have the corporate model when:
  • Grades Out, Badges In
  • “Grades are broken. Students grub for them, pick classes where good ones come easily, and otherwise hustle to win the highest scores for the least learning. As a result, college grades are inflated to the point of meaninglessness—especially to employers who want to know which diploma-holder is best qualified for their jobs.”
  • “That's a viewpoint driving experiments in education badges. Offered mostly by online start-ups, the badges are modeled on the brightly colored patches on Boy Scout uniforms but are inspired primarily by video games…”
you know you have the corporate model when4
You know you have the corporate model when:
  • “Professors Compete for Bonuses Based on Student Evaluations”
  • “Some faculty members at Texas A&M University will each be $10,000 richer next month, and they will have their students to thank. The university system is awarding bonuses ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 to faculty members who received the highest grades on end-of-semester student evaluations.”
  • “Oklahoma awards $5,000 to $10,000 to participating engineering professors who score in the top 5 percent on their semester-end student evaluations. Those who score in the next 15 percent receive half those amounts. Similar bonuses are offered for top-rated business professors.”
the corporate model
The Corporate Model
  • Recently David Schultz published a noteworthy essay in Logos entitled “The Rise and Demise of Neo-Liberal University: The Collapsing Business Plan of American Higher Education.”
  • Two models of higher education since the end of WW II
    • Dewey model in which public institutions were central, and institutions promoted a Jeffersonian view of higher education recognizing an educated citizenry as central to democracy
    • The Corporate University with top-down authority with administrators and corporate-led boards displacing traditional faculty governance
    • Decision-making focuses on increased revenue, using certain programs as cash cows, while designing others to attract private/corporate donations.
growing corporatization
Growing Corporatization
  • The Point Park Amicus Brief filed by AAUP cites six factors that are indicative of growing corporatization:
    • “the extent of university administration hierarchy;”
    • “the extent to which the administration makes academic decisions based on revenue generation or other market-based considerations;”
    • “the degree of consultation by the administration with faculty committees or other faculty governance bodies over academic and nonacademic matters;”
growing corporatization1
Growing Corporatization
  • “whether the administration treats faculty recommendations as advisory rather than as effective recommendations;”
  • “whether the administration routinely approves nearly all faculty recommendations without independent administrative review”
  • “whether conflict between the administration and the faculty reflects a lack of alignment of administration and faculty interests.”
the corporate university
The Corporate University
  • “Nationwide patterns since 1980 show that the context has transformed through universities’ increasing use of a corporate business model that goes well beyond Justice Brennan’s observation in Yeshiva that universities have become ‘big business.’”
    • Point Park University Amicus Brief for the AAUP
the corporate model1
The Corporate Model
  • “Expansion of the administrative hierarchy, which exercises greater unilateral authority over academic affairs.”
  • “University administrators increasingly are making decisions in response to external market concerns, rather than consulting with, relying on, or following faculty recommendations.”
  • “Decision-making is increasingly made unilaterally by high-level administrators who are driven by external market factors in setting and implementing policy on such issues as program development or discontinuance, student admissions, tuition hikes, and university-industry relationships.”
    • Point Park University Amicus Brief for the AAUP
the corporate model2
The Corporate Model
  • “Faculty have experienced a continually shrinking scope of influence over academic matters.”
  • “Faculty loss of influence over programmatic and other academic matters reduces faculty influence even in their individual academic course content and research.”
    • Point Park University Amicus Brief for the AAUP
the corporate model3
The Corporate Model
  • [There] “are embedded structural changes that favor top-down decision-making authority by university administrators responding to market concerns, rather than a collegial process of consultation and consensus-building over academic affairs.”
  • “One outcome of this institutional shift is a growing conflict between university administrations and faculty over unilateral actions taken by administrators either without consultation with faculty or overriding faculty governance bodies’ recommendations.”
    • Point Park University Amicus Brief for the AAUP
how many administrators does it take to run this place
How Many Administrators Does it Take to Run this Place?
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education Lists 289 types of Senior Executives and Chief Functional Officers
administratium
Administratium
  • “The heaviest element known to science was recently discovered by investigators at a major U.S. research university. The element, tentatively named administratium, has no protons or electrons and thus has an atomic number of 0. However, it does have one neutron, 125 assistant neutrons, 75 vice neutrons and 111 assistant vice neutrons, which gives it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by a force that involves the continuous exchange of meson-like particles called morons. Since it has no electrons, administratium is inert. However, it can be detected chemically as it impedes every reaction it comes in contact with. According to the discoverers, a minute amount of administratium causes one reaction to take over four days to complete when it would have normally occurred in less than a second.”
administratium1
Administratium
  • “Administratium has a normal half-life of approximately three years, at which time it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which assistant neutrons, vice neutrons and assistant vice neutrons exchange places. Some studies have shown that the atomic mass actually increases after each reorganization.”
administratium2
Administratium
  • “Research at other laboratories indicates that administratium occurs naturally in the atmosphere. It tends to concentrate at certain points such as government agencies, large corporations, and universities. It can usually be found in the newest, best appointed, and best maintained buildings.”
  • “Scientists point out that administratium is known to be toxic at any level of concentration and can easily destroy any productive reaction where it is allowed to accumulate. Attempts are being made to determine how administratium can be controlled to prevent irreversible damage, but results to date are not promising.”
    • William DeBuvitzThe Physics Teacher January 1989
responding to the market what do administrators get paid
Responding to the Market: What Do Administrators Get Paid
  • E. Gordon Gee President, Ohio State University, October 2007–Present
    • Total Compensation (2011) $1,992,221
    • “Since returning to Columbus as the university’s president in October 2007, the 68-year-old Gee has pulled in $8.6 million in salary and compensation, making him the highest paid CEO of a public university in the country.”
    • “But his expenses — hidden among hard-to-get records that the university took nearly a year to release — tally nearly as much: $7.7 million.”
    • “Those records show Gee stays in luxury hotels, dines at country clubs and swank restaurants, throws lavish parties, flies on private jets and hands out thousands of gifts — all at public expense.”
    • Source: Chronicle of Higher Education & Dayton Daily News
compensation for presidents
Compensation for Presidents

Source: Chronicle of Higher Education

salaries for administrators
Salaries for Administrators

Source: Chronicle of Higher Education

more salaries for administrators
More Salaries for Administrators

Source: Chronicle of Higher Education

even more salaries for administrators
Even More Salaries for Administrators

Source: Chronicle of Higher Education and authors calculation

growing inequality between disciplines
Growing Inequality Between Disciplines

Source: Chronicle of Higher Education

slide33
National Report on Administrative Costs in Higher Education: Goldwater Institute and Administrative Bloat
  • Source: No. 239 I August 17, 2010: Administrative Bloat at American Universities: The Real Reason for High Costs in Higher Education. http://www.goldwaterinstitute.org/
  • “Enrollment at America’s leading universities has been increasing dramatically, rising nearly 15 percent between 1993 and 2007.
  • But unlike almost every other growing industry, higher education has not become more efficient. Instead, universities now have more administrative employees and spend more on administration to educate each student.
  • In short, universities are suffering from “administrative bloat,” expanding the resources devoted to administration significantly faster than spending on instruction, research and service.”
national report on administrative costs in higher education delta cots project
National Report on Administrative Costs in Higher Education: Delta Cots Project
  • Source: Trends in College Spending, 1998-2008. Released July 8, 2010. http://www.deltacostproject.org/
  • “The share of spending going to pay for instruction has consistently declined when revenues decline, relative to growth in spending in academic and student support and administration. This erosion persists even when revenues rebound, meaning that over time there has been a gradual shift of resources away from instruction and towards general administrative and academic infrastructure.”
revenues expenses change in net assets at public four year universities
Revenues, Expenses & Change in Net Assets at Public Four-Year Universities

Delta Cost Data author’s calculations

how decision are made
How Decision Are Made
  • “[A] Cornell University faculty senate committee report in 2007 recounts a series of administration decisions made without adequate consultation with the faculty senate, including the creation of a new faculty of computing and information science, the reorganization of the division of biological sciences, and the creation of a for-profit distance learning corporation.”
    • Point Park University Amicus Brief
how decision are made1
How Decision Are Made
  • “At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in 2006, the Board of Trustees ordered the Faculty Senate to revoke its amendment to expand Senate membership to include clinical faculty. Following the Rensselaer President’s rejection of the Senate’s request to convene a joint committee to resolve the issue, the Provost unilaterally suspended the Faculty Senate for failing to comply with the Board of Trustees’ order.”
    • Point Park University Amicus Brief
program discontinuance
Program Discontinuance
  • State universities in Louisiana will eliminate 109 programs and consolidate 189 others into new programs or concentrations within existing majors, the state Board of Regents announced on Wednesday as it decided the fate of 456 “low-completer” programs it had flagged for review. The cuts include foreign-language majors on a number of campuses
  • In 2010, Southeastern Louisiana University eliminated its undergraduate French major, dismissing its three tenured professors with a year's notice—and then offering one of them a temporary instructorship.
program discontinuance1
Program Discontinuance
  • “Auburn U. Trustees Eliminate 6 Programs
  • Auburn University's Board of Trustees voted this month to cut six degree-granting programs, including a doctorate in economics that the university's president and a faculty review committee wanted to keep.
  • The 7-to-3 vote in favor of cutting the economics program infuriated many professors and one trustee, who argued that the board should have abided by the president's recommendation.”
program discontinuance2
Program Discontinuance
  • “More Than 70 U. of Northern Iowa Programs Face Elimination or Overhaul”
  • “Among the programs being considered for elimination, all of which have produced an average of fewer than seven graduates over the past five years, are several degree programs in the languages, chemistry, computer science, and the earth sciences, according to an administrative document that the newspaper obtained. The university’s faculty members have been protesting their lack of involvement in the budget-cutting process and last week voted no confidence in the institution’s president and provost.”
    • Chronicle of Higher Education
program discontinuance3
Program Discontinuance
  • “A University Plans to Promote Languages by Killing Its Languages Department
  • Last month, a year and a half after Mr. Maxwell took over the presidency of the Des Moines institution, the Board of Trustees voted to get rid of Drake's foreign-language program and the eight tenured and tenure-track professors and seven part-timers who teach in it.”
    • Chronicle of Higher Education
searches
Searches
  • “AAUP Criticizes Michigan State U. for Not Listening to Faculty;”
  • “Student-Affairs Job Goes to Wife of Bowling Green's President”
  • “Regents Broaden Presidential Search at Texas A&M Without Faculty Input, Drawing Criticism”
    • Chronicle of Higher Education
curricular changes
Curricular Changes
  • CUNY’s Pathway to Whatever
    • “As chair of the University Faculty Senate — a body chartered by the Trustees — to deal with cross campus curricula issues, I can state clearly that the process by which this core was developed did not reflect any campus or university wide elections and involvement of faculty with experience in general education.” 
    • Chronicle of Higher Education
dumping faculty governance
Dumping Faculty Governance
  • “New President and Faculty Tangle at U. of the District of Columbia
    • Just a month after becoming president of the University of the District of Columbia, Allen L. Sessoms is locked in a battle with the institution's faculty senate, which he wants to shut down and replace with a new forum of students and faculty and staff members.”
  • “After Professors Unionize, Miami-Dade Community College Abolishes Faculty Senates”
  • “Union In, Governance Out
    • Faculty governance at Akron, some say now, was gutted, and without a word of debate.”
    • Chronicle of Higher Education
dumping faculty governance1
Dumping Faculty Governance
  • “Tennessee State U. Disregards Faculty Senate's Vote to Retain Its Leader
    • Tennessee State University's administration is disregarding a Thursday vote by the Faculty Senate to retain its chairwoman, whom the university's president had previously declared removed from the job.”
  • “A Professor at Louisiana State Is Flunked Because of Her Grades
    • Kevin R. Carman, dean of science at Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, decided to pull a senior professor, Dominique G. Homberger, from an introductory biology course this semester because many of her students were failing.”
    • Chronicle of Higher Education
dumping presidents
Dumping Presidents
  • “New Statements on Ouster of Virginia President
    • The Council of Chairs and Directors released a letter blasting the way events have transpired. The letter said that these academic leaders were "very pleased" with Sullivan's "superb" leadership, and that they were stunned by her ouster, and frustrated by the lack of faculty knowledge of the reasons behind the board's action.”
  • “State Higher Ed Board Votes to Dismiss U. of Oregon President
    • Oregon's Board of Higher Education voted unanimously to cut short the presidency of Richard Lariviere at the University of Oregon, despite impassioned pleas from faculty and staff members and students at a highly contentious board meeting Monday.”
    • Inside Higher Ed
affordability gap
Affordability Gap

The College Board & Bureau of Census

percent of need based aid
Percent of Need Based Aid

The College Board

are we doomed
Are We Doomed ?
  • Returning to the Schultz article he concludes the corporate model has now collapsed
  • Predicts rather pessimistically that the next business model will negate “the democratic function of higher education that existed since World War II,”
  • De-emphasizing liberal arts in favor of professional education.
are we doomed1
Are We Doomed ?
  • The pessimistic view in the Schultz article misses the fact that contradictory forces have always existed in American higher education.
    • ruling elite in our society
    • the working class majority
contradictory nature of higher education
Contradictory Nature of Higher Education
  • Higher education was central in defending both religious and secular values central to the preservation of capitalism.
  • Somewhat later, as science and technology became more important, the idea of higher education as vehicle for providing “practical training” also emerged.
education as a force for the common good
Education as a Force for the Common Good
  • Others (e.g., Thomas Jefferson) have seen higher education as the great equalizer, a vehicle for educating citizens and the “common good.”
the era of expanding access to higher education
The Era of Expanding Access to Higher Education
  • During the period leading up to World War II, most scientific research and the innovation that drove American industrial might occurred in private research labs
    • Bell Labs, Dayton Engineering Laboratories Co. (DELCO), Battelle Memorial Institute).
    • Only after WWII, with the onset of the Cold War, did universities became centers for research.
  • The GI bill first opened college admissions to the unwashed masses.
    • The elite universities all opposed the bill; they thought that helping ordinary people who had been drafted go to college would dilute the pool of college students with mediocre students.
    • However, hundreds of thousands of veterans were returning to the U.S. with little prospect for employment, and left-led unions of the CIO were pushing a social agenda, so the GI bill was enacted.
expanding access the dewey model
Expanding Access & the Dewey Model
  • The big expansion of access to college, however, came in the 1960’s
    • increased funding for public higher education
    • urban universities
    • community colleges.
  • Greater access to higher education was a component of the reform era that began in the 1950s
    • the civil rights
    • the women’s rights
    • antiwar movements.
the social upheavals of the 1960 s
The Social Upheavals of the 1960’s
  • The social upheavals of this era
      • Greater access to college
      • Medicare and Medicaid
      • Clean Air and Clean Water Acts and the EPA
      • OSHA
      • Greater income equality
  • The “Dewey model” was a facet of the of mass movements for social justice and equality.
the death of the reform era corporatization
The Death of the Reform Era & Corporatization
  • The death of the reform era by the late 1970s and rise of the corporate university
    • Part-time faculty have replaced tenure line faculty, undermining both academic freedom and shared governance.
    • These changes must be seen as part of the broader neo-liberal attack on organized labor and the achievements of the 1950s-1970s reform area.
fighting back
Fighting Back
  • Changes in higher education do not occur in a vacuum.
  • If there is any hope of reversing the deleterious effects of corporatization on higher education, it is in faculty and academic professionals aligning ourselves with the labor movement and the broader movement for social justice.
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